PBS’ NOW's Conscientious-Objector Episode to Debut on YouTube

Public Broadcaster Continues Effort to Get Programming Clips to Bloggers, Web Sites

Friday’s NOW installment on conscientious objectors is being previewed on YouTube.

The three-plus-minute clip recounts the story of Mexican émigré Austin Aguayo, who joined the Army in 2002 shortly after gaining American citizenship. (He was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and holds dual citizenship.) In 2004, he applied for a conscientious-objector discharge, he said in the clip, partly because the collateral damage to Iraqi civilians changed his views on the war.

“We’re hurting people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.

He went AWOL after his application was denied and spent several months in a military prison in Germany.

PBS often posts clips or entire segments on YouTube in an effort to bolster the public broadcaster’s viewership beyond television. A list of PBS clips on YouTube revealed that recent Independent Lens documentary Motherland Afghanistan was the most viewed PBS video with just over 80,000 page views.

NOW’smost-watched YouTube video was an interview with Kurt Vonnegut, the author’s last before he passed away. It has 24,032 page views on YouTube.

But the larger purpose for PBS is to get its clips in the hands of bloggers and Web sites that can give the public broadcaster’s programming an afterlife on the Web.

NOW airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. ET on WNET/Channel 13. For local listings, check PBS’ NOW page.